Statewide Prosecutors Chare Human Trafficker w/ Felony Charges, Manslaughter
Dec 14, 2022
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.—Attorney General Ashley Moody’s Office of Statewide Prosecution charged a human trafficker with manslaughter and human trafficking causing great bodily harm, permanent disability or permanent disfigurement. The defendant, Daniel Rhodes, faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement arrested Rhodes, who used several women’s drug addictions to coerce the victims into engaging in sexual activity for Rhode’s financial benefit. According to an FDLE investigation, Rhodes also injected one of the victims with a drug concoction that included fentanyl, resulting in the woman’s overdose death.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “This monster injected his victims with drugs and coerced them to perform sex acts for his financial gain. An FDLE investigation also revealed that he caused the death of one woman, by injecting her with a fentanyl-laced drug mixture. My prosecutors will aggressively pursue this case to make sure this vile human trafficker pays for his crimes.”
According to the investigation, the defendant ran a human trafficking operation out of several hotels and motels along the Treasure Coast region. Rhodes allegedly entrapped women into the human trafficking ring by supplying drugs until the victims became addicted. Then, Rhodes coerced the women into performing sex acts to pay off debts and promised to only take a portion of the ill-gotten gains. However, the investigation revealed Rhodes took all the money made from the victims. The defendant listed the victims’ sex services for sale on online platforms.
The investigation alleges the defendant created drug mixtures to inject the victims with before each coerced sexual encounter, with the women sometimes going days without sleep. The more acts each victim engaged in, the more times Rhodes injected the drug mixture, leading the victims deeper into addiction. In one case, Rhodes continued to inject a victim with drugs even though the woman could not control physical movements or hold a conversation. Witnesses recounted that Rhodes injected this woman upward of 10 to 12 times a day.
According to the investigation, Rhodes ultimately caused this woman’s death, by injecting a mixture of drugs that contained fentanyl.
Rhodes is currently serving a prison sentence for selling methamphetamine and soliciting prostitution in Trenton. The defendant is being held without bond and will be transported to St. Lucie County to be arraigned.
The case will be prosecuted by Assistant Statewide Prosecutor Josh Dockus.